I thought I was going to be clever.
It’s the beginning of the year, we’re all prepping for the next round of students and taking one last deep breath before the insanity begins. All the routines, procedures and structures, the drawing of seating charts and the filing of lesson plans almost make teaching look like a real job: one that’s organized and logical with reliable systems that produce predictable outcomes.
Predictable and teaching go together like Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart.
Discussing gay marriage.
In a room full of transsexuals.
On Fox News.
“Job Description,” I thought. “I can cleverly tweak a teacher job description to more accurately reflect reality!” Gloating at my own Bright Idea, I set about fiddling with several standard JDs kindly provided by my spare brain (aka Google.)
“Job Title:” I wrote.
“Teacher,” Google informed me.
“Mediator, bouncer, parent, parent to parents, therapist, judge, content expert, babysitter,” I merrily plunked away on my keyboard.
“Reports to: Principal,” Google said.
“…and frequently to mentally unbalanced, know-it-all parents and, occasionally, the overly entitled student pain-in-the-ass. Sometimes the board of education. And taxpayers… politicians in election years, the media. You know what? Just get used to justifying yourself.”
I was on a roll.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Responsible for conducting an organized and professional classroom (in a small space crammed with thirty mobile Chaos Machines cleverly disguised as mini-humans):
- Teaches subject area according to curriculum guidelines.
- deals politely and sanely with stone-cold crazy parents who insist curriculum be rewritten according to their own personal/religious/crazytown views.
Then Google stumped me.
“Maintains ongoing curriculum evaluation and development to meet the needs of students,” I read. “Collaborates with other faculty in delivery of appropriate instructional approaches. Continues intellectual and professional development in primary academic discipline. Follows policies established by Board of Directors, School District, and State mandated school guidelines.”
I glared at the computer screen trying to find a connection between Mr. Snooty Job Description’s pretentious words, and the daily mayhem of my professional life. I couldn’t. So in my usual manner of resolving many a troubling issue, I went to a teacher-sponsored happy hour instead.
“Buttplug!” the conversation began. “Pubic hair! Wall-ball, forehead, crotch in the face, parents fondling teachers, midgets.”
“Alcoholics and anorexia,” added someone else, dare the conversation get too lighthearted.
“Crazies. Batshit crazy, crazytown, helicopters.” Everyone agreed.
Confused? That’s because Google’s job description is well-intentioned, but entirely meaningless document. A teacher’s daily life is hardly predictable and rarely pretentious, so we’re starting from scratch…